Witch Queen's Witch Queen (1979)

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of records: some you dance to, some you don’t. And the grey area in the middle is left mainly up to taste, how old/drunk the crowd is, and whether or not the lights are on. The Rolling Stones are right in that grey. This record, spearheaded by Italian-Canadian impresario Gino Soccio, is not. This is for dancing.

I bought this based solely on the cover which, as you can see, is straight fire. The disco reworkings of T. Rex’s “Bang a Gong” and especially Free’s “All Right Now” are enjoyable and heretical. Witch Queen gives less than a shit about the classic arrangements of these 70’s staples, because the cocaine says so. If you’re on drugs and this record comes on, it is going to be alright. Any drugs, or all of them.    

Like the best disco (which is dub for whites, amirite?) the bass and kick are brace-faced teenagers in the back of a rusted-out Civic, locked in over the clothes until the sun comes up. Soccio’s production hand sweeps dusty white broom step filters over the sweaty noses of bent knee platform kickers. There’s a Brubeckish jazz breakdown in the middle of “Bang a Gong,” If you hate disco, it’s probably because you heard on the playground that it quote sucks end quote. Guess what? You were a shitty kid, but you can change.  

If you’ve ever made Mexican food breakfast wearing underwear and last night’s Billy Joel t-shirt, this is the record for you.  

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Phil Shaw